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For immediate release
June 7, 2005
Chad Campbell

Colleen Shaddox of Hamden, CT Chosen As Broadcast Essayist From Among 3000 Submissions For This I Believe, New NPR Series Exploring Personal Values

Shaddox's Essay About The Value of Jazz and Personal Challenges To Air June 13 on All Things Considered; Shaddox Joins Colin Powell, Director Errol Morris and John Updike Among Contributors to Series

WASHINGTON - This I Believe, a new NPR® weekly series of personal essays about core values and beliefs - a contemporary version of Edward R. Murrow's landmark 1950s project - will feature the thoughts and words of Colleen Shaddox of Hamden, CT on the June 13 edition of All Things Considered®.

Shaddox, whose essay was chosen from among 3000 submitted to the series' producers since the series launched two months ago, writes about the strong impact jazz has had on her life, particularly when faced with a personal crisis.

Shaddox joins an impressive list of essayists who have contributed to the series since it made its premiere April 4. Among the influential leaders who've written and read their personal This I Believe essays are former Secretary of State Colin Powell, Academy Award-winning director Errol Morris, authors John Updike, Kay Redfield Jamison and Isabel Allende and scientist Brian Greene. This I Believe also features the work of NPR listeners from around the country who have responded with essays on a variety of subjects.

According to Jay Allison, who hosts the series, “What's so fascinating about the submissions has been their variety: from eloquent declarations about the great principles that guide lives, to simple statements of belief in something more humble, such as Colleen's piece on the ‘fundamental optimism of jazz.'”

Shaddox, a communications specialist, was inspired to write her This I Believe essay after she heard Colin Powell's essay on April 11. She listens to NPR programming on WSHU and WNPR - Connecticut Public Radio.

During its original run in the 1950s, Murrow's This I Believe launched a national dialogue about core values and beliefs. The contemporary version covers a broad spectrum of topics such as compassion, faith, love, the power of change, the importance of knowledge, the value of family and tolerance. The essays range from poignant to humorous, and provide unique insight what Americans believe in the 21st century. This I Believe essay-writing has already been incorporated into the activities of schools, community groups, places of worship and even birthday celebrations. This I Believe essays have been read or played at weddings and funerals. Additionally, blogs have been launched based on the concept by groups as diverse as college students, senior citizens and people affiliated with various religious and political associations. The segments air every Monday, alternating between NPR's signature newsmagazines Morning Edition and All Things Considered.

To date, all of the aired This I Believe essays have ranked among the top e-mailed stories on To listen to past essays or to submit an essay, please visit

NPR is renowned for journalistic excellence and standard-setting news and entertainment programming. A privately supported, non-profit, membership organization, NPR serves a growing audience of 26 million Americans each week in partnership with more than 780 public radio stations. International partners in cable, satellite and short-wave services make NPR programming accessible anywhere in the world. With original online content and audio streaming, offers hourly newscasts, special features and eight years of archived audio and information.